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Ann Marie van den Hurk: Who needs the bank? Digital asset cryptocurrency is creating a new ecosystem

Ann Marie van den Hurk, Lexington Herald-Leader on

Published in Business News

Bitcoin. Litecoin. Ethereum. All are cryptocurrency which have entered the lexicon of many since its 2008 inception.

There is a cryptocurrency craze happening globally. People are using it as a currency held in digital wallets on mobile phones to pay for goods and services. Others are mining or using this electronic cash system as an investment to get rich quickly, in theory.

This rage just reached the masses on the shores of the United States. Until recently, cryptocurrencies were the domain of geeks.

In 2017, England's Cambridge University undertook the most comprehensive study of cryptocurrency since 2009, to find how widespread the use of this digital cash has become. The research gathered data from more than 100 cryptocurrency companies in 38 countries. It captured an estimated 75 percent of the cryptocurrency industry.

According to this study, about 3 million people are actively using nearly $40 billion of cryptocurrency, and it is increasingly used, stored, transacted and mined around the globe.

What is cryptocurrency?

 

There is a lot of confusion about what cryptocurrency is and how it works.

The simple definition of cryptocurrency is: limited entries in a database no one can change without fulfilling specific conditions, wrote Ameer Rosic on Blockgeeks.com.

He suggested you think of it this way: Take the money in your bank account for example: What is it more than entries in a database that can only be changed under specific conditions? You can even take physical coins and notes: What are they other than limited entries in a public physical database that can only be changed if you match the condition than you physically own the coins and notes?

In other words, digital assets using cryptography, or the art of writing/solving codes, to secure transactions between peers without the need for a central bank or other authority performing that role.

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